John Vervaeke Wikipedia, Wiki, Books, Age, Wife, Reddit
John Vervaeke Wikipedia, Wiki, Books, Age, Wife, Reddit – In the midst of the pandemic, Professor Vervaeke, who teaches psychology at the University College, decided to start a series of daily live-streamed meditation lessons. These sessions aimed to provide a brief respite from the stress and anxiety that many people were feeling during these challenging times. In this conversation with Professor Vervaeke, we delve into the world of mindfulness and meditation.
Misconceptions About Meditation
One common misconception about meditation is that it’s all about achieving a state of deep relaxation similar to feeling drowsy or half-asleep. This is not what meditation is about. In fact, meditation aims to relax your mind in a way that enhances your stability and sensitivity. Think of it as an educational journey rather than a vacation.
Another misconception is that meditation is only successful if your mind becomes completely blank and wide open. This belief is not entirely accurate. Every time you catch your mind wandering and bring it back to your focus, you’re strengthening your mindfulness. It’s like building muscle through repetitions in weight training.
Why Start Morning Meditation Sessions During the Pandemic?
Professor Vervaeke believes that our society is going through a “meaning crisis.” Many people feel disconnected from themselves, others, and the world. The COVID-19 crisis has only intensified this sense of disconnection. In such challenging times, developing a mindfulness practice becomes especially relevant.
Frequency vs. Length of Meditation
Professor Vervaeke emphasizes that the consistency of meditation practice is more important than the duration of each session. However, this doesn’t mean that the duration is irrelevant. If you only meditate for as long as it feels comfortable, you may not challenge yourself enough to make progress. Learning happens when you step out of your comfort zone, and meditation is no different.
So, when you meditate, don’t stop as soon as it gets challenging. Keep sitting and apply the principles and techniques you’ve learned. If you can only manage five minutes at first, that’s perfectly fine. It’s better to meditate for a short duration consistently than not at all.
Quick Tips for Beginners
For beginners, meditation can seem intimidating, but Professor Vervaeke offers some simple tips:
- Don’t Chase Comfort: Don’t expect to find a perfect, pain-free posture. Meditation is about observing your mind and its processes, not about physical comfort.
- Center Your Mind: Meditation involves stepping back and observing your mind’s patterns and processes rather than being immersed in them.
- Don’t Aim for a Blank Mind: Meditation isn’t about instantly emptying your mind. It’s about allowing your mind to settle naturally.
The Role of Meditation and Contemplation
Meditation and contemplation may seem similar, but they have distinct roles. Meditation is like stepping back and examining your mental processes. However, once you’ve identified distortions or defects in your thinking, you need to “put your glasses back on” and see if your perception of reality improves. This aspect is the contemplative part of the practice.
Understanding Cognitive Science
Cognitive science is a field that explores the mind and its relationship with reality in a comprehensive way. It’s akin to philosophy, especially ancient philosophy like that of Socrates and Plato. While psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, computer science, and anthropology all study different aspects of human behavior and cognition, cognitive science bridges these disciplines.
Cognitive science allows these diverse fields to communicate and collaborate. It’s a powerful tool for gaining insights into how the mind works, bridging the gap between the brain’s biology, artificial intelligence, human behavior, language, and culture.
In summary, meditation is not about becoming drowsy or emptying your mind entirely. It’s an educational journey that enhances your stability and sensitivity. Professor Vervaeke started morning meditation sessions during the pandemic to help people find meaning and connection in challenging times. The consistency of meditation practice is more important than its duration, and beginners should focus on observing their mind’s processes rather than seeking comfort. Finally, cognitive science is a valuable discipline that brings together various fields to study the mind comprehensively.
Why did Professor Vervaeke start morning meditation sessions during the pandemic?
Professor Vervaeke believes that our society is going through a “meaning crisis,” and the pandemic intensified this feeling of disconnection. Therefore, he initiated the morning meditation sessions to help people find meaning and connection during these challenging times.
What does Professor Vervaeke say about the frequency versus the length of meditation sessions?
Professor Vervaeke emphasizes that consistency in meditation practice is more important than the duration of each session. However, he also notes that it’s essential to challenge yourself and not always stay within your comfort zone. Even if you can only meditate for a short duration, like five minutes, it’s better than not meditating at all.
What’s the difference between meditation and contemplation according to Professor Vervaeke?
A5: Meditation involves stepping back and examining your mind’s processes, while contemplation is about putting your insights into practice and observing whether your perception of reality improves. It’s like taking off and putting on your glasses to see more clearly.
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